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In December 2022, “Blick” repeatedly raised the problem of lack of snow. However, this year December starts with tons of snow even in the plains. This situation pleases not only winter sports enthusiasts but also hoteliers in the mountains.
“We are expecting the best result ever in December,” says Jan Stiller (45), manager of the Lenkerhof Gourmet Spa in the Bernese Oberland. In the past there was usually an “autumn mode” by mid-December, but this year the slopes open earlier and skiing before and during the Christmas period is almost guaranteed: “Pre-bookings are so good that we have set our sights. “We did it last month,” says Stiller, of making the entire holiday as early as Dec. 1.
While on average more than 90 percent of all guests at the Lenkerhof have recently come from Switzerland – a large proportion coming from French-speaking Switzerland – this is now shifting somewhat in favor of foreign guests. Of these, pre-bookings, made primarily through booking portals such as Booking.com, are also increasing significantly. According to Stiller, more guests from English-speaking countries and Asia are coming to Switzerland for winter holidays. The magnificence of the snow helps get reservations.
On the other hand, Swiss guests usually make reservations on short notice, depending on weather and snow conditions.
“The Germans are back!”
The latter is confirmed by Thomas Walther (55), who manages the Walther and Steinbock Hotels in Pontresina GR: “Two-thirds of our guests book well in advance, regardless of the weather, but about a third always book at short notice.”
However, the weather is almost more important than the amount of snow. Walther’s guests come to Pontresina primarily to escape the dreary winter weather and enjoy the abundant sunshine in the Engadine. Since the weather is colder in the Engadine than in the rest of Switzerland, it is also possible to make snow early: “The cross-country ski tracks have been clean for a long time and there is also good snow formation on the slopes, so there are the best conditions for a great December.” “says Walther on the phone, still reached during the holidays in the south. He wanted to warm up a bit before things really started.
Walther expects a “busy season” in 2024 due to the early Easter date. What makes him particularly happy is that guests from Germany are returning and together with the Swiss they make up 90 percent of his customers. Eight years after the “Frank shock”, when the Central Bank abolished the minimum euro exchange rate of 1.20 and the franc rose as much as 40 percent against the euro in a very short time, our northern neighbors could enjoy a holiday in Switzerland again.
In the winter of last year, Swiss hotels managed to significantly increase the number of guests despite poor meteorological conditions. This year everything is prepared for a wonderful winter season.
I’m Tim David and I work as an author for 24 Instant News, covering the Market section. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, my mission is to provide accurate, timely and insightful news coverage that helps our readers stay informed about the latest trends in the market. My writing style is focused on making complex economic topics easy to understand for everyone.